Sabine Baring Gould, Father of Werewolf Lit?

Believes in werewolves.

Believes in werewolves.

Sabine Baring-Gould was an eclectic man. Born in England in 1834, he is best known for the hymns he composed, among them the infamous “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” He was married for nearly 50 years and fathered 15 children. He was a collector of stories and folk songs as well as an accomplished novelist, and was known to write while standing. He spent years collecting folklore of werewolves which eventually resulted in , The Book of Werewolves, which was published in 1865 and is still one of the largest studies of werewolf lore to this day. He died in 1924 and was buried next to his wife.

 

 

What Big Eyes You Have: Werewolves

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It seems that unlike the mindless zombie or the ancient mummy, or event the licentious vampire, we don’t fear the werewolf so much as feel sorry for the werewolf. It is a wild beast caught in a trap. We worry for him, we wish it could be another way. We don’t want to become werewolves the way we want super powers or immortality. We want the werewolf to be free of the curse that binds him. Free to be either beast or man, not tragically stuck being both.

Here are a few interesting facts about werewolves you may not know:

  • Werewolves are not always mean: In medieval romances, such as Guillaume de Palerme, the werewolf is not the terrifying creature of more modern tales, but rather benign, appearing more like a victim and less like the enemy. (True also of Harold in Eugene Field’s story).
  • Werewolves are not always male: The 1588 story from the mountains of Auvergne tells the tale of a she-wolf whose paw was cut off by a hunter. When he opened the bag where he had placed his prized paw he discovered instead a woman’s hand. It didn’t take long to figure out who was missing the hand (a nobleman’s wife) and she was burnt at the stake. That’s one way to end a marriage…
  • Werewolves are not always wolves: Were-creatures can be in the form of many beasts. In variations of lore from around the world we find examples of were-cats, were-sharks, were-bears, and even a were-dolphin.
  • Werewolves are not always fictional: There is a rare but very real disease now called clinical lycanthropy. Those diagnosed believe themselves to able to transform into a non-human animal, specifically a wolf.

For those of you who aren’t such fans of the werewolf you will want to avoid the darkest of woods at night, especially any woods that looks much like the one described above—full of ravens, vampires, and serpents—and you should never, ever go out on a full moon. You may fare well, as the heroine of our story does, but to hedge your bets you might want to keep a little satchel with you full of silver bullets (you’ll need a gun to fire them) on hand, or a silver dagger if you can’t get a gun. If you are a dead-mark a bow and arrow might do, but it is very risky. Oh, and make sure to stock up on wolfsbane. It will ward off wolves but it can also be an antidote to wolf bite, if taken within a few hours of contact.

Check out my book, Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires & Other Creatures of the Night. 

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Photo: James Finister via flickr

Book cover by James Warner, copyright Weiser Books 

 

What Are You Doing RIGHT Now? Get Thee to a Listening Device

Paratruth Radio Show, tonight at 8pm EST/5 pm PST. Me, a couple of freaky hosts, and a whole lot of banshees. And probably a vampire, a ghost, and a werewolf or two.

Listen here:

PARATRUTH RADIO LIVE NOW!!

T-minus 20 minutes or so. old-radio

A Paranormal Magician, Banshees, and Me: UnReal Radio this Sunday, August 10th

werewolfYou can feel it, can’t you? It’s subtle but it is there. I know you may be battling the heat of summer and not believe me, but trust me: Halloween is creeping in. Banshees lurk and vampires dance through the dead of night. Get in the mood for all things bizarre with Joe Diamond, host of UnRealRadio and me this SUNDAY, AUGUST 10th, 6-7:30 PM PST.

You can listen live via this link:

UnRealRadio

or this one:

WLIP

(Kenosha, Wisconsin)

Join us as we discuss the Beast of Bray Roard, Banshees, and all manner of creatures of the night !

 

Vincent Twice, Vincent Twice: CAV RAdio tonight!!

Citizens Awareness Vanguard, tonight! BACK AGAIN for an encore performance in which we delve deeper into the many bizarre shapeshifting freaky things that lurk beyond the corner of your vision/fence/porch Wooo! Let’s get freaky!

Tune in tonight:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cavradiolive/2014/03/29/ep48-shape-shifters-strange-creatures-wguest-varla-ventura

Show starts at 9 pm EST, I’m on by 10 pm EST (that’s a Friday dessert special for you Westerners…7-8:30 PM PST)

Get with it! Or just come listen and harass!

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Get Freaky With Me and the Citizens Awareness Vanguard: Jan. 16th

Tune in, my prettys! THURSDAY, Jan. 16th to Citizens Awareness Vanguard radio for a strange creature chat with Chris & Mark. I’ll be on LIVE. Show starts at 9 PM EST/6 PST. Grab a glass of something strong and lock the front door.  Creatures of the night are afoot!

Listen by clicking the following link:

CAV RADIO SHOW 

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Spend a Late Night in the Midlands With Me, Tonight!

Come spend a Late Nate in the Midlands with me–or an early evening if you’re on the West Coast. Host Michael Vara and I will be discussing all things freakish, ghoulish, odd, and bizarre. That includes Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night. 

Tune in tonight via the link below, at 6:30 PST/9:30 EST. The second hour includes callers, so be sure and give a shout!

Late Night in the Midlands on Blogtalk Radio banshees, werewolves, vampires

2014, The Year of the Freak: My Episode of Beyond Belief with George Noory (TV!!!!!)

 

 

BB-Mkt_Promo-VarlaV-1Should auld acquaintance be forgot…don’t forget my face! LIVE on Beyond Belief on  Gaiam TV.  Come nurse your hangover with a little cure for what ails you: my peeling laughter and wicked antics.

Here is how it works. Click this link. On January 1st, this link will take you directly to the show. Before then, the link takes you to the main page for Beyond Belief, but once the show airs it will remain the direct link to my episode.

Beyond Belief with George Noory: Creatures of the Night with Varla Ventura 

If you want to watch it YOU MUST SUBSCRIBE. You can get a FREE 10-DAY TRIAL, and watch it any time or as many times as you want during that 10 days, plus any of the other episodes! After the 10 day period if you want to keep watching it, because you want to wake up to/fall asleep to the sound of my voice throughout the year, you have to sign up to GaiamTV.

Once you’ve signed up for the 10-day trial, you can stream the video of  me and George yukking it up over vampires, banshees, a little bit of Crowley, and other delightful horrors, through your computer, tablet, phone, etc.  Here’s a little info about the show!

Creatures of the Night, Beyond Belief with George Noory

Banshees, werewolves, and mermaids are all the stuff of fantastical legends stretching beyond the limits of recorded history. But what if there was some truth to the tales of these mysterious creatures? Author Varla Ventura’s passion is researching the bizarre and she reveals the truth behind the legends of several creatures of the night in this interview with George Noory originally webcast January 1, 2014.

 Varla Ventura is a lover of all things strange, freaky, and terrifying. She is the author of Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night and curates the Weiser Magical Creatures and Paranormal Parlor series of e-books. When not burning the midnight oil writing about weird news for her Blog of the Bizarre, she can be seen traversing the hidden cemeteries and phantom ships in the greater Bay Area. She can be found online at www.varlventura.com. 

Don’t I look like a happy little freak? See more of me than you ever thought you wanted to.

www.beyondbelief.com 

 

A Melding of the Paranormal Minds: Tonight! Live!

Greetings you little elves and gnomes and hobgoblins, ye’ merry creatures of the night. Tune in tonight at 6 pm PST/9 PM EST for a delightful hour of the paranormal persuasion. I’ll be a guest on Paranormal Minds Radio.

Click here to listen live.

You never know where the conversation will lead, although I can guarantee you will probably want to double check your locks after. Varla Promo

Tonight! Interview with Mark Eddy on Open Canvas 11/4/13

Greetings greedy goblins and lovers of the strange! I’ll be interviewing tonight with Mark Eddy and Thomas Becker, hosts of Open Canvas on Revolution Radio (www.freedomslips.com). You can log in before the show, listen live by following THIS LINK. Scroll down to the bottom and click the Open Canvas link. This will create a pop-up window with a player that will stream the show live. There’s even a chat room you can join: look for Studio A. this is tonight, the 4th of November from 10-midnight EST. That’s 7-9 pm PST.  Come join us for vampires, mermaids, and more!

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